Trial of Anne Hutchinson
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In 1634, Anne Hutchinson followed in the footsteps of her pastor, John Cotton, as he fled to Massachusetts to escape Puritan persecution in England. Hutchinson found Cotton's emphasis on free grace for the believer spiritually freeing; Christians no longer needed to strive to earn God's favor by working toward their own sanctification. Hutchinson, Cotton, and John Wheelwright taught this view to a growing circle of men and women in Boston including Henry Vane, the young governor of the colony. Hutchinson accused most Puritan pastors of believing in a covenant of works like Catholics (there was no worse slur among 17th century Puritans). They, in turn, labeled her an antinomian, or lawless, Christian. By 1637 Hutchinson's allies had been forced from the colony and she faced formal charges for her errant theology and her lack of submission to the authorities. After two trials over the course of six months, she was banished from Massachusetts and subsequently settled in Rhode Island, where she would die in an Indian raid in 1643.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Women and Religion
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Women and Religion in American History
Religious Groups
Timeline Entries for the same religious group Congregationalists (UCC)
Congregationalists (UCC): Other ARDA Links

Winthrop, John
Hutchinson, Anne

The Trial of Anne Hutchinson- US History Images

Anne Hutchinson portrait- Internet Archive- from Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Reformers by Elbert Hubbard

Trial of Anne Hutchinson- Internet Archive- from Dames and Daughters of Colonial Days by Geraldine Brooks
Book/Journal Source(s)
Larson, Timothy and David Bebbington and Mark Noll, 2003. Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals. InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois.
Web Page Contributor
Paul Matzko
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in History

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